A video of a woman tearfully responding to trolls who said she “looked like an old hag” due to her grey hairs is continuing to touch hearts across the globe.
Rachel Farnsworth, 31, from The Stay at Home Chef, lives with an autoimmune disease called Addison’s disease, which means she might not live past 70.
Last year, she received a negative comment on her blog, which read: “You look like you’re 70 with your grey hairs, you really should consider dying them for TV so you don’t look like such an old hag.”
At the time, she shared a video explaining that she loves her grey hairs because they are a sign that she’s “still alive”.
Her inspirational video resurfaced on 3 August after it was shared by the Love What Matters Facebook page.
Numerous people commented on the clip, thanking Farnsworth for opening up about her experience. They also took the opportunity to talk about their experiences of going grey early and what it meant to them.
In the video, which was originally posted in November 2016, Farnsworth acknowledged that, yes she does have a few grey hairs, but for her they are something to be celebrated, not shamed.
“I have a rare autoimmune disease that means that I will most likely never live to be 70 years old,” she revealed, her eyes welling up with tears. “Every sign of ageing that I have is a sign that I’m still alive.”
The disease which Farnsworth lives with is a rare disorder of the adrenal glands - two small glands that sit on top of the kidneys.
According to the NHS, the condition is often caused by a problem with the immune system, which makes it attack the outer layer of the adrenal gland and disrupts the production of steroid hormones aldosterone and cortisol.
Farnsworth continued: “A lot of people don’t get the privilege to ever live to be old - and I probably won’t either, which means that I don’t have time to waste criticising myself. And I don’t have time to waste criticising other people.
“I care a lot more about what my life is like right now.”
Farnsworth explained that she was born with a jaw deformity, which became very prominent when she hit puberty. Her appearance led to negative comments from other kids, which she said “completely broke her”.
“I felt like I was some sort of hideous monster,” she explained.
Farnsworth had to wait until she was an adult, when her jaw had stopped growing, to have surgery and change the way she looked.
After the operation, she felt uplifted for a while but then life turned to normal and she realised her feelings towards herself hadn’t really changed - even though she looked different.
“It’s taken me more than a decade of really hard work to change the way that I’ve felt about myself,” she said. “I have a crooked nose with a hook in it, I’ve got freckles and bags under my eyes, I’ve got a yellow tint to my skin, I have hairs that grow in places I don’t want them to, I fluctuate in weight and carry more pounds than I’d like to sometimes, I’ve got wrinkles and stretch marks and sun spots and scars all over my body. And I also have grey hair.
“I love all of it,” she continued. “It’s taken me a long time to learn that. The world needs more people who will build each other up instead of tearing each other down.”